Showing posts with label Jr. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jr. Show all posts

Monday, October 13, 2014

OH! HOW THE MIGHTY HAVE FALLEN FROM "BACK IN THE DAY?"



Circa 2006, 2007, & 2008, former Stark County state representative Johnnie A. Maier, Jr was "at the top" of his political game.

During his stint as Stark Dems chairman (2003 through 2009), the Dems managed to capture every Stark County-wide (non-judicial) elected office.

He must have had a premonition that "all Hell was going to break loose" as he resigned as party chairman and left his successor and prime member of his personal political loyalty group; namely, Randy Gonzalez, to "pick up the pieces" as what local civic activist Craig T. Conley termed as being Zeiglergate broke loose on April 1, 2009.

Since then:
  • Zeigler resigned/retired in an agreement with Stark County commissioners on October 19, 2011
  • In 2012 Republican Richard Regula (in a major political surprise defeated by Democrat Todd Bosley in 2006) reclaimed his commissionership in replacing Democrat Pete Ferguson (elected in 2008 but who decided not to seek reelection)
  • In 2010, Republican Janet Creighton easily defeated Maier/Gonzalez political confidant Steven Meeks (appointed by the Dems in 2007 to replace Tom Harmon [resigned in 2009]),
  • In 2010, Bosley
    • who along with Harmon [appointed by the Dems to replace Strickland administration appointee [lottery commission] and therefore former commissioner Gayle Jackson [2007],
      • voted in December, 2008 to "impose" a 1/2 cent sales tax on Stark Coutians,
      • and, therefore, apparently concluding that he could not win reelection as commissioner instead ran for state representative, the 50th District, a suffered a massive political defeat
  • In 2010, Democrat Stark County auditor who was apparently thought by Stark County voters to be too politically close to Zeigler and did not do enough to raise alarms that "all may not be well" in the Stark County treasury headed by Zeigler, lost in convincing fashion to Republican Alan Harold,
So there you have "a thumbnail sketch" of how the Stark County political empire that Johnnie A. Maier, Jr had worked so hard to create had come crashing down.

Maier got his start back in 1988 when he had the good fortune "be in the right place, at the right time."  Stalwart Republican icon "Red" Ash (the, at the time, 49th House District, which became the 56th and then the 50th) had run into legal troubles and Maier was there "to pick up the pieces."



Over his years of chairman and a Massillon clerk of courts, Maier worked equally hard - if not more so - to develop a cult-like following of his personal political aspirations, to wit:


He had come home (Massillon area) from "the high reaches" of Columbus where he fraternized with the all-powerful Vern Riffe, Jr. (Speaker of the House 1975 - 1995) and learned "the art of cultivating and mastering" political power.

Many think Riffe used political power for the public good whereas there are those who think that student Johnnie, Jr applies it to his personal interests.

One of the devices of governance that the Republicans used in 1992 to wrest power from te Democrats was to support voter passage of term limits in Ohio.

Under the term limits legislation, representatives were limited to eight (8) consecutive years in office.

Accordingly, Maier, Jr had to find a more secure and nesting place and in a show of what was to come from this disciple of Vern Riffe, he put a political power move on fellow Democrat Edward L. Radel, Jr and ousted him as clerk of Massillon Municipal Court earlier in 1999.

Maier went on to defeat Republican Richard Reichel by an overwhelming majority in 1999 general election.


All of the foregoing is to demonstrate that Maier is now "on life support" to salvage what remains of his Stark County based political empire.

And that, folks, is his "all-out, all consuming" effort to get his brother George (who he likely got Ted Strickland to appoint as assistant director of the Ohio Department of Public Safety) elected as Stark County sheriff.

A victim of the Maier obsession with getting his brother elected may be "top-gun" prosecutor Chryssa Hartnett.

Chryssa works for Stark County prosecutor John Ferrero (who along with former sheriff Tim Swanson have worked against George becoming sheriff, appointed and/or elected).

The SCPR believes that the Maiers are soaking up nearly all the financial resources that Stark Dems can raise and that Hartnett may not be able to garner enough campaign funds to get her message out to the Stark County voting public that she is - so the SCPR thinks - is vastly more qualified to be judge of the Stark County Court of Common Pleas that Republican Curtis Werren.

Before being appointed by Republican governor John Kasich to a court vacancy,  Werren was president of the Stark County chapter of the American Red Cross.

Republican Larry Dordea who ran a, more or less, "gentlemens' campaign" when he ran in 2008 against incumbent sheriff Tim Swanson (who is now on the outs with the Maiers), is now in, what he says (as interpreted by the SCPR) is - to be kind to the Maiers, not that they deserve it - a "political hardball" fight in its harshest form with George (Link to blog detailing Dordea's accusations, implied and otherwise).

But Dordea needs to understand, this may be Johnnie's "Custer's Last Stand."  That is to say, electing George sheriff.

For next year, it might be that his political creation Kathy Catazaro-Perry, mayor of Massillon, whose election in 2011 Maier engineered over long time Maier political foe and two decades plus mayor Francis H. Cicchinelli, Jr, will be defeated for a second term if she chooses to run.

Even with Catazaro-Perry's election in 2011, Maier showed he was slipping in that, while he was focusing on Catazaro-Perry's mayoralty quest, the Democrats lost control of Massillon City Council.

For those who do not know, Massillon is staunchly Democratic.

Not to be forgotten is Maier's "all-out" sponsorship of Celeste DeHoff for state representative in his, more or less, old District.

He prevailed on then Governor Ted Strickland (who, recognized Johnnie to be the first county chairman to endorse him in the Democratic primary), former U.S. Senator John Glenn, Senator Sherrod Brown, and then-Ohio treasurer Richard Cordray to come to Canal Fulton to campaign for DeHoff.

Since then, DeHoff has fallen on hard times.

But she was and out-and-out Maier loyalist.  And that appears to be all that matters to Johnnie and George.

In 2012, perhaps, Johnnie's closest political ally; namely, Judge Edward Elum of the Massillon Municipal Court was disciplined by the Ohio Supreme Court.

In a rare display of Johnnie A. Maier, Jr loyalty to anyone other than himself, so the SCPR thinks, he did submit a letter in support of Elum's quest to avoid discipline by the high court.

The SCPR thinks Dordea may have seen nothing yet compared to "what is yet to come."

When the political end comes for Johnnie A. Maier, Jr., he will go down - not in a whimper - but in a thunderous crash.

There will be great wailing and gnashing of teeth with Maier, Jr and his cult of followers.

But Maier's political demise might not be yet.

It all depends on the November 4, 2014 outcome between brother George and Dordea.

That's "how high the stakes are" in this election!

Monday, August 4, 2014

POLITICAL CONNECTIONS "COUNT FOR 'EVERYTHING'" IN STARK COUNTY & POLITICAL SUBDIVISION GOVERNMENT? ESPECIALLY MASSILLON!?



SCPR Note:  material presented in this blog in graphic format on issue of "whether or not to hire" has been "excerpted" for format purposes (i.e. to make more readable in blog format) and for brevity sake which is to say to include what the SCPR thinks is pertinent information.

The seeds for a political controversy to take hold were planted when the Massillon Mayor Kathy Catzaro-Perry administration on June 23, 2014 hired Dwan Gordon-St. John as the city's parking enforcement officer and coupled it with a part time position in the city income tax department to make it a full time position with full benefits.

Earlier in the month (June 16, 2014), Massillon City Council had authorized funds to hire a parking enforcement officer, but as can be seen from the following extracts from Massillon government records, the Kathy Catazaro-Perry administration made the St. John hire a "full time" hire by combining the council authorized parking enforcement job with one in the income tax department (a vacancy having recently have been created by the departure of an employee).


As the SCPR sees it, to expand on the opening paragraph of this blog, the controversy developed because
  • the expansion of the parking enforcement job into a full time position without the mayor  having indicated to council her "apparent" plan to use council's approval in the way of joining it with a part time version of the income tax vacated job to create St. John's full time position,
  • the full time job would, of course, include benefits, which generally means an increased expenditure of about 1/3rd the base hourly rate
    • A SCPR example:  If a employee has a $10.00 per hour rate on a full time position, the total expense to the employer when calculating in the cost of benefits (retirement, health care, workers compensation, unemployment insurance and the like) would likely bring the hourly rate in terms of city expense to about $13.00 plus per hour
  • Massillon is currently in fiscal emergency (likely as a consequence of the mayor's initiative with the Ohio State of Auditor Office) and can ill-afford the extra financial burden of a seeming "manufactured" need for the creation of a full time position that smacks of possibly having "political connectedness" underpinnings.

Ms. Gordon-St. John landed a job with the Strickland administration in November, 2007, to wit:  (per her resume)
Communications Information Officer

Bureau of Workers Compensation - November 2007 to August 2010


Duties include monitoring day-to-day operations regarding Injured Workers. I was responsible for transforming HR from a strategic role to an administrative role. I was a part of the Senior Management Team - thus being responsible for conducting current existing HR Policies and finding glitches to revamp what was NOT working for the Agency as a whole. I re-organized and re-developed business plans to update policies and procedures when needed. In addition, I handle all Attorneys, Doctors and Politicians for the agency. I was responsible for all communications and requests from any source requesting said information and was also responsible for handling Agency EEO Issues. I manage the largest team in the office of 500 employees' which was the second largest Worker's Comp Office in the State. I was also responsible for communicating with the Industrial Commission (IC) - preparing reports and gathering evidence regarding Legal Issues and Appeal Hearings and Leading team meetings.
Taking Ms. Gordon-St. John's account of the significance of the Communications Information Officer position to be accurate, one would think that her appointment to the job was approved at the highest levels of the Strickland administration and therefore is evidence that she is - as she asserts - "very politically connected."

If she lacks political connection in her own right, she certainly has them in spades in being the wife of Deametrious.

Readers have read a number of SCPR blogs wherein The Report went into great detail about husband Deametrious' political involvement in Stark County politics.

He is a former Stark County Board of Elections appointee by the Stark County Democratic Executive Committee (2013) who was a critical factor in the decision making process whereby Johnnie A. Maier, Jr brother George T. Maier was allowed to be on November's ballot in the Stark County election to fill out Mike McDonald's term as county sheriff.

St. John as a Democratic central committeeman voted twice (February 5, 2013 and December 11, 2013) to appoint Maier to serve as sheriff until this November's election when McDonald (sheriff-elect from the November, 2012 election) was unable to take office because of what turned out to be a terminal illness.

Dwan Gordon St. John was present at a Board of Elections hearing on a challenge to George T. Maier being qualified under R.C. 311.01 to be a county sheriff.  Deametrious voted to reject the challenge.

Deametrious has a political consulting business and he along with Dwan were earlier this year the recipients of expenditures from the Coalition for Greater Cleveland's Future.


Deametrious has been a key figure in the Stark County Black Caucus.

Deametrious St. John hails from Cleveland.  At one time he says he was involved in Cleveland politics when George Forbes was in his heyday.

Undoubtedly, the St. Johns have other political connections that the SCPR is not aware of or does not recall at the moment.

Suffice it to say, it is quite believable that Dwan has the political connections and clout to impress Catazaro-Perry and the Massillon Maier Political Machine that that criterion in and of itself is enough to justify to them that it would be a wise thing for them within Stark County Democratic Party political life to find a place for her in Massillon city government.

Who can forget the outrageous outburst of Her-Highness when Massillon city councilman-at-large Milan Chovan (a Republican) raised questions about the hire.



The SCPR believes the "racist/sexist" charge was:
  • a calculated "get ahead of the critics" political gambit 
    • put together by Catazaro-Perry, her political godfather Johnnie A. Maier, Jr (a former Stark County Democratic Party chairman) and his political protege R. Shane Jackson, Stark Dems' political director
  • designed to serve "as a smokescreen" to deflect suspicion and concomitant criticism that the Gordon-St. John hire was grounded in politics
The Report thinks that the St. John hire likely was due to her self-described being (her exact words in her resume) "Very Politically Connected."  (see in graphic below, highlighted in the color blue for emphasis)

There is suspicion galore that the Catazaro-Perry as mayor of Massillon hires for city jobs primarily on the basis of political connections and does very little, if any, posting of positions so that general tax paying public has an opportunity to be considered for city of Massillon employment.

Moreover, it appears that doing background checks on prospective employees is not a part of the administration's hiring process.

And it needs to be pointed out that Catazaro-Perry is not alone in Stark County in being thought in Stark County government circles as being susceptible to making primarily political hires.

The SCPR has written quite a few blogs over the past six years plus fingering a number of county and political subdivision elected officials as being suspected taking care of the politically connected with taxpayer supported public positions and the general public having had no chance whatsoever to apply for the jobs; let alone actually get hired.

Whether it is Republican Stark County treasurer Alex Zumbar, Republican Stark County auditor Alan Harold, Democrat Stark County recorder Rick Campbell or Democratic Canton Municipal Court clerk of courts Phil Giavasis doing the hiring, the SCPR thinks that it should be unacceptable to the Stark County public for hires to be made on seeming political connectedness.

But Catazaro-Perry probably stands out in the public perception - because of her owing her own election as mayor of Massillon to the Maier/Jackson Massillon Political Machine and her seeming inability to govern without chapter and verse guidance from Maier, Jr and Jackson - as being the most political of all Stark County elected officials.

Other names brought up to the SCPR as conjecture that "political connections" was a primary reason for being a Catazaro-Perry hire include:  Safety Director Al Hennon (a close friend to the Maiers, going back many years), Administrative Assistant Larry St. Jean (nephew of former Stark County Dems chairman Randy Gonzalez), Administrative Assistant Margaret Elum (wife of Massillon Municipal Court judge Eddie Elum, a confidant of Johnnie A. Maier, Jr [JAM]), Building Department employee David Maley (husband of JAM administrative assistant Tammy Maley) and, of course, George T. Maier, the current Stark County Democratic Party appointed county sheriff, as safety director as among the very first hires when Catazaro-Perry became mayor of Massillon on January 1, 2012.

And there are a number of others that readers of the SCPR think were hired primarily because of political connections to Maier, Jr and Jackson.

It is not that folks with political pedigree are by that factor unqualified to do the job they are hired for.

There is ample evidence that folks with a political connectedness as a background and therefore are suspected as being employed primarily because of the connections go on to do workmanlike job performance if not above average work.

The rub is that these are public jobs funded by taxpayer dollars that the general public should have access to.  Moreover, nobody should be hired in a public position without having been vetted.

The Report did ask for records evidencing posting on the St. John hire.

Here is the exchange between the SCPR and administration official Ken Koher:
RE: Public records request (PRR)

        Kenneth Koher, Jun 30

To:  Martin Olson
        City Law Director

Good Afternoon,

The city is not in possession of any documents responsive to your request.  We can’t produce records that we do not have. 
[SCPR COMMENT INSERTION:  In other words, position was not posted, not advertised to the general taxpaying public]
Kenneth Koher
Records Compliance Officer
...

From: Martin Olson [mailto:tramols@att.net]
Sent: Monday, June 30, 2014 2:21 PM
To: Kenneth Koher
Subject: Re: Public records request (PRR)

...

One question I forgot to ask, was this job posted for the general public to have an opportunity to fill it?

If not, why not?
If, as it appears to some, St. John is taken by the Massillon voting public as being primarily "a political connections hire," it may turn out in the end to be a political disaster for Catzaro-Perry, JAM and Jackson.

It is less than a year away from the May, 2015 Democratic primary election for the Democratic voters of Massillon to choose whether or not Kathy Catazaro-Perry will continue on for another four years as mayor.

As the SCPR sees it, making a racist/sexist (the latter of which is interesting and inasmuch as five women are members of Massillon City Council (Republicans Sarita Cunningham-Hedderly, Nancy Halter; Democrats Andrea Scassa, Megan Starrett and Michelle Del-Rio Keller) may well backfire on the mayor come the primary.

But no way.

Maier, Jr in in the opinion of the SCPR is infected with political bravado to a degree far superior to any other Stark County political figure, certainly among the current crop, and, maybe, going back through the entire political history of Stark County.

The Report sees him as a "power and might" politician who bullies his way towards realizing his political objectives.

That Steve Okey, a Canton attorney, has gotten involved in the Massillon fray is no surprise to the SCPR.

He seems, when he dons the robe of being a political figure, to The Report to share Maier, Jr's propensity to politically "bowl people over" like they are "ten pins" rather than living human beings.

Okey is the appointee of the Stark County Democratic Party Central Committee (SCDP) Central Commtee (CC) as president of Alliance City Council (April 30, 2014).

The Report thinks that some political strong arming likely got him the nod as the appointee over fellow Alliance Democrat Sue Ryan.

In what the SCPR thinks was a major political miscalculation, in his first meeting as president, Okey tried to force a change in the way Alliance City Council votes (SCPR Link).

He failed in that quest and The Report is being told that he has apparently learned a lesson in Alliance in that he is acting much more like a number of the Alliance councilpersons think a council president should conduct him/herself.

The SCPR brings Okey into today's blog because of a Massillon Independent report on Thursday that he is representing Ms. St. John's legal interests.

She filed a violation of civil rights complaint (racial discrimination) with the Ohio Civil Rights Commission as of July 21, 2014, two weeks to the day that Massillon's council voted to defund the parking enforcement position.

However, his role as legal counsel, is not The Report's primary interest.

The SCPR considers Okey to be one of the most if not the most politically active attorneys in all of Stark County.

Not particularly "politically astute" though.

Okey, a former member of the Alliance City Council before his recent appointment as president, not long ago sued Alliance over the voting procedures that council had employed in certain instances (which, interesting enough, Okey himself has participated in while still a councilman).  The lawsuit has been dropped.

He tried to make himself out to the SCPR as being a champion of political sunshine in government.  And that may be.  But The Report thinks his primary purpose in the Alliance situation was to embarrass Alliance councilman Larry Dordea who is the Republican November election opponent to guess who?

You've got it!

None other that George T. Maier.

Is he a part of the Maier/Jackson Massillon Political Machine machinations, whatever they may be?

Ya have to be believe he is, don't ya?

The Report does not see the Massillon Catazaro-Perry administration/city council flak over the Gordon-St. John hire as being a legal fight but as an extension of the continuing political battles that have been the hallmark of the mayor/council relationship.

The SCPR agrees with those who think that St. John's OCRC complaint will not succeed.

What it will do, The Report thinks, is keep the mayor's racism/sexism allegation front and center in Massillon politics and likely undermine her chances to be reelected mayor.

One would think that the political geniuses who the SCPR thinks may have put Catzaro-Perry up to the racist/sexist thing would have, by now, figured out that this gambit is not going to fly and have the maneuver slink off into obscurity hopefully to be forgotten by May, 2015.

Take a look at Massillon's demographic numbers on race/gender:


It could be that some voters might buy the mayor's argument that race was a factor in the decision to defund the parking enforcement position, given that only two council members of ten (including the presidency) are African-American.

But the SCPR thinks that most of the voters will agree with The Report that the defunding racial allegation is grounded in political gamesmanship, and, if anything, voters might well punish the mayor in May, 2015 for having made what they think to have been politically motivated allegations.

Should she survive the Democratic primary, The Report thinks it is likely she will face Republican Ward 6 councilman Ed Lewis, IV November's general election.

And in that election she will have to face up to the entire Massillon community; not just Massillon's Democrats.

While the SCPR does not buy the racist tag the mayor tried to put on Councilman Chovan and by implication on all those who did not vote her way; council's vote: just looking at the racial makeup of council
  • the Catazaro-Perry/St. John allegation might be bought "on the face of the racial make up numbers disparity" by those who want to think the worst of those councilpersons voting to defund,
  • the "sexist" allegation is way out there in "left field somewhere" in terms of council being sexists when a majority of council is guess what?  
Female!

To the SCPR, the sexist allegation is pretty clear indication of "the stretch" (i.e. throw everything in, including the kitchen sink) that the Catazaro-Perry/Maier Massillon political cabal was into in apparently formulating the administration attack on the voting majority of council.

But to reiterate, the SCPR thinks the attempted racist tag is a "red herring" also.

In short, the tussle over the Gordon-St. John hire is part of the ongoing struggle between council and the mayor as to who is in charge of Massillon city government.

It is obvious that the mayor and the voting majority of council do not trust each other.

And it could be that council members have looked at the public trail that Dwan Gordon-St. John has left out there on the Internet and in publicly available public records and question the basis on which - in light of the overall information - Mayor Catazaro-Perry, if not based on political considerations made the hire.

The SCPR has not read nor heard reasons why the mayor thought Gordon-St. John was a good hire for Massillon.

Of course, The Report hasn't seen nor heard heard her vouching the merits of her many hires, other than "glittering generalities."

Since the mayor has made the Gordon-St. John's initial hire an issue with her racists/sexists allegation, doesn't she have an obligation to tell the Massillon public what in her resume and public record (Internet based and otherwise) recommends her for city of Massillon employment?

Here is Massillon's record of her current position of her current hire: (note:  July 21, 2014, the day she filed her Ohio Civil Rights Commission complaint against the City of Massillon)


First of all, Gordon-St. John's submitted resume:  (an extract)



What apparently was not part of the the consideration of the Catazaro-Perry administration of whether or not to hire Gordon-St. John was the number of listings for her on the Stark County Criminal Justice Information System (CJIS) website, the federal bankruptcy court for Northern Ohio and the executive clemency branch of the Ohio Adult Parole Authority.

At least, if the administration knows about these matters and considered them, it did not indicate such to the SCPR in The Report's employment application public records request with regard to Ms. Gordon-St. John.

If the administration has not troubled itself to have at a minimum Massillon Police Department check of a prospective employee (not only Gordon-St. John but all new hires, no matter whom) as former mayor Frank Cicchinelli tells the SCPR his administration did without fail, then shame on the Catazaro-Perry administration and its its failure in its fiduciary duty to protect the public interest.

If the administration does have information that some might deem to be negative in a particular hiring situation, then it owes the public an explanation as to why a given hire was made notwithstanding such information.

These points apply not only to the Catazaro-Perry administration but to all Stark County-based units of government.

The SCPR does not think that merely because a person has a troubled past that such does in and of itself disqualify that person from public employment.

However, the taxpaying public in entitled to know that political considerations are not short-circuiting the employment vetting process.

One of the richest experiences (in the sense of seeing political sausage made) the writer of The Stark County Political Report has ever had has been rubbing shoulders with the power brokers of Stark County politics and government as a candidate for office in 2002/2004.

One particular breakfast fundraiser in the Fall of 2004 stands out.

The "good ol' boys" (mostly boys, there may have been a girl or two) were sitting around at table downing eggs, bacon and orange juice and, in general, having "a laugh-filled, back slapping time" reminiscing on political "war stories."

One of the stories had to do with a person in need of a job who as a politically active citizen was giving a certain Stark County office holder fits.

Solution to the problem?

Hire the person into a public, taxpayer supported job.

End of the person being a problem!

"Knowing" guffaws filled the room.

The SCPR believes and has written that there are many other scenarios of how all too many of Stark County's elected officials seemingly use your and my tax dollars to solve their particular political-based hiring needs.

From early in the days of this blog's existence, the SCPR has been writing about this all too common phenomenon.

To say it again, major damage is done to the public perception of fairness in government when politically based/motivated hires occur in that there is no "posting of the position" inviting the general "taxpaying" public to apply. 

In an incremental but sustained fashion, those elected officials who promote, condone or "look the other way" on such hirings turn out to be "their own worst enemy" in terms of undermining public confidence in the fairness of our system of government and thereby make their own jobs more difficult in the sense that they feed the growing cynicism of the public.

And, of course, a failure by public officials to do thorough background checks can and should come back to haunt an offending official.

Let's hope that with all the political connectedness hirings that seem to be going on in Stark County government that one or more do not end up costing the taxpayers because the discoverable was not subjected prudent due diligence discovery processes.

While, perhaps, an offending official will lose his/her job; in the end it likely will be the tax paying public who get left holding the bag.

And thusly the public's distrust of government and "playing politics" public officials will continue to grow.

The overall Massillon hire situation, the SCPR thinks, reeks of "political connections count for everything."

And in such a hiring process the tax paying public gets counted out!

Friday, May 9, 2014

VOLUME 2 SCPR ELECTION ANALYSIS SERIES: BALAS-BRATTON "PAYS THE PRICE" FOR STICKING UP FOR THE "RULE OF LAW?"



OTHERS PAY THE PRICE, TOO?

AND

MAYBE, STILL OTHERS ARE IN FOR IT?

VIDEO ENCORE

KATHLEEN CLUNK
MAKES A CHARGE
ON
STARK DEMS' CHAIRMAN
RANDY GONZALEZ

Political party chairmen appear to want nothing but predictable loyalists as members of their respective central committee.

Never question the wisdom of the chairman, is the implied, if not expressed, admonition that is likely to be uttered by the likes of Stark GOP chairman Jeff Matthews and Stark Dems' chairman Randy Gonzalez.

Gonzalez knows first hand the agony that a precinct committee person can put a chairman through.

For a refresher,  check these SCPR blogs (with videos) of the testy relationship between Gonzalez and his Stark County Democratic Party Central Committee (SCDP-CC)  members as he had to deal with the threat they (84 of them)  posed to his realizing the commitment of the Stark County Democratic Executive Committee (controlled, in the opinion of the SCPR by Johnnie A. Maier, Jr [JAM]) to seeing that JAM brother George appointed as Stark County sheriff.
One of the leaders of the anti-Maier-PACT turned out to be one Cynthia Balas-Bratton who on February 14, 2014 filed a challenge to George Maier's right to be qualified by the Stark County Board of Elections under the standards of Ohio Revised (ORC) Code Section 311.01.

As early as February 17th she was the subject of a verbal attack by a George T. Maier supporter.

From a SCPR report on a meeting held at the Stark BOE on the 17th to establish the ground rules and hearing date on the challenge, here is a summary of the attack as described by Balas-Bratton attorney Craig T. Conley:
On his way out of the BOE building, he encountered - what he says was - another unpleasant event.

Conley (see video below) says he witnessed his client Ms. Balas-Bratton being verbally "castigated" (Conley's word) by a fully uniformed female Stark County deputy sheriff for having had the audacity to have filed the Maier candidacy protest in the first place.
For her heroine-esque efforts for the "rule of law," she was richly rewarded by the JAM Stark County/Massillon Political Machine with a defeat at the polls at the hand of one Dave Irwin, a Maier ally, who works for Stark County recorder Rick Campbell, also a member of the JAM loyalty group.


The message from the Johnnie and George?

Cross us, criticize us, differ with us more than we like; and we will (in a political context) go after you.  So the SCPR thinks.

As recently as April 30th (the appointment of a replacement for John Benincasa, who had passed away, as Alliance City Council president), Chairman Gonzalez levied an indirect attack on Balas-Bratton in praising Steve Okey for defending Deameatrious St. John (who, interestingly enough [then a Plain Township precinct committee person] was at the Alliance event) in Balas-Bratton's attempt to have him removed from the Stark BOE February 21st hearing).

In a somewhat shocking turn of events, St. John himself was roundly defeated by a John Ferrero ally.


VIVIANNE WHALEN DUFFRIN

Vivianne Whalen Duffrin knows all about being in the path of an irate Maier.

From that blog:
Just as a case in point as to the degree of political "bad blood" that continues to flow between the Maiers and Ferrero, let's look at the matter of Vivianne Whalen Duffrin.

Duffrin, a lawyer, was a long term human resources person for former Sheriff Tim Swanson (who had given Mike McDonald his blessing to succeed him as sheriff).

She even remained after Maier's appointment by the SCDP-CC on February 5th.

However, a matter that did not get a whole lot of publicity at the time was the fact that she weighed in on the George T. Maier qualification question on the wrong side insofar as her longevity at the sheriff's department.

She was of the opinion that George was not qualified under the provisions of ORC 311.01.

Anyone who knows Johnnie A. Maier, Jr knows that he does not forget things like Duffrin's act.

On October 11, 2013 Duffrin was unceremoniously fired by George from sheriff's position and get this:  "in the middle of negotiations with various 'union represented' grouped-employees within the department."

How that - "in the middle of negotiations - for George T. Maier looking out for the interests of Stark County taxpayers?

Does anybody doubt that her firing was political payback?

Guess who was back on the job November 7, 2013 after George was ousted by the Ohio Supreme Court on November 6th?

Guess who resigned late in the evening of December 11th after George was reappointed by the Stark Dems that same day?

And where did she end up with new employment?

You've got it!

The staff of Stark County prosecutor John D. Ferrero!!!

If that ain't an "in your face" George T. Maier, the SCPR does not know what it is?
THOMAS ROGERS

So does Massillon police officer Thomas Rogers who got passed (illegally, as it turns out) over for promotion to sergeant in favor of George T. Maier's son at a session of the Massillon Civil Service Board (MCB) as George, "apparently" in his capacity as Massillon's safety director, attended the meeting at which his son prevailed over Rogers.

Although it was obvious to most that the MCB case on behalf the interests of George's son, carried through the level of Ohio's second highest court (the 5th District Court of Appeals; having lost before Stark Court of Common Pleas), was not winnable; the Kathy Catazaro-Perry administration plowed on.

What a disappointment (sarcasm) that Catazaro-Perry (politically mentored and administratively propped up by JAM), didn't try to get the Supreme Court of Ohio to hear the case, no?

PROSECUTOR JOHN FERRERO

Watch out Stark County prosecutor John Ferrero!

Remember, Ferrero was the guy who got "the resist the Maier Political Machine" started on February 5, 2013 when he managed, in filing an affidavit that he was of the opinion that George T. Maier was not qualified under ORC 311.01, to, accordingly, convince 83 other Democratic precinct committee persons to vote no on George.

Ferrero got humiliated by Chairman Gonzalez at the February 5th selection event with what the SCPR thinks was thinly disguised disgust that he had done the affidavit questioning Maier's qualification to be sheriff.

The vote of ended up 92 (George T. Maier), 84 (Lou Darrow).

Truly amazing, no!

It seems as if JAM and folks like his chief deputy of the Massillon clerk of courts and Stark County Democratic Party political director R. Shane Jackson were "asleep at the switch" in monitoring the loyalty level of those who were elected/appointed as precinct committee persons.

Just like Johnnie and Shane were "asleep at the switch" and focused on electing the dependent on them  Kathy Catazaro-Perry mayor of Massillon all the while losing control of Massillon City Council to the Republicans in the election of November, 2011.

Never mind that the Ohio Supreme Court validated Ferrero on November 6, 2013 in finding for former Sheriff Tim Swanson in a quo warranto, he filed on February 12, 2013.

Think these folks are looking for a way to visit you with some Ferrero comeuppance?

But getting Ferrero will not be as easy as going after Duffrin and Balas-Bratton.

They (the Maier Political Machine) did get close to a close confidant of Ferrero.

Look at this Democratic precinct committee person contest.

Hmm?

Margaret Elum.

Who's she?

For beginners, she is the top administrative aide to Mayor Kathy Catazaro-Perry.

Beyond that connection, she is the wife of Massillon Municipal Court judge Eddie Elum who in the estimate of the SCPR is one of Johnnie A. Maier's top supporters


One thing about Prosecutor Ferrero, he showed on September 21, 2013 at the Western Dems annual Clambake he can do his own humiliating.

A September 27, 2013 SCPR blog outlined how Maier ally Catazaro-Perry was slated to introduce Ohio treasurer Democratic candidate Connie Pillich at the clambake.

Massillon's mayor was ignored by Ferrero who instead did the Pillich introduction himself.

A highly offended Kathy Catazaro-Perry walked out in a huff.

Hmm?

SUE RYAN OF ALLIANCE

While we are dealing with precinct committee persons, it is more than worthy mentioning that Alliance councilwoman Sue Ryan got the lesson of her life for not being loyal enough to George T. Maier, and, of course, derivatively to JAM.

Ryan actually believed that it was doable for her to become president of Alliance City Council which came into being because of the death on March 30th of president since 1994 John Benincasa  (on the vote of the SCDP-CC/Alliance branch).

She forgot, apparently, that she had refused George T. Maier loyalist Derrick Loy (who was hired by SCDP-CC appointed Sheriff George T. Maier in September, 2013 as an administrative assistant) back in early 2013 that she sign a loyalty pledge to him as the Party appointee.

The SCPR thinks that when it became apparent that Loy was so thoroughly disliked by Democratic officials including, it seems, a majority of SCDP-CC members, Chairman Gonzalez, The Report thinks turned to former Alliance Democratic councilman Steve Okey who has plenty of folks in Alliance  (more the Republicans than the Democrats, but he is far from completed embraced by Alliance Dems)  who are not wild about him but less so than Loy.

Okey did try hard to be the equal of Loy in terms of being disliked in Alliance political circles.

In filing a lawsuit against Alliance City Council out of his "deep concern" for transparent government and the upholding of Ohio's Sunshine Law in Alliance, he excluded then Alliance City Council John Benincasa and Ward 2 Councilwoman Phyllis Phillip who (i.e. Phillips) just happened to be - at the time - a SCDP-CC/Alliance member.

It is essential to George T. Maier, if he to have a more than 50/50 chance to be elected sheriff to have someone in eastern Stark County help him make inroads this presumably pro-Larry Dordea section of Stark.

And Okey is going to be his point person in Alliance and surrounds.

The SCPR was always skeptical of Ryan's persistence that she was going to win over Okey.

And, sad to say, The Report was right on the mark.

She was stunned to learned that Schroeder and Williams had been flipped from supporting her to supporting Okey.

The SCPR was not,  For The Report it was simply of matter of converting supposed Ryan voters into Okey voters. 

It was humorous to hear Okey chortling away about "the closeness of the vote."

Of course, the implication is that he was in doubt right up to the minute of the vote.

The SCPR certainly does not believe that.

And guess who swore in Okey as council president this past Monday evening at the regular Alliance City Council meeting?

You've got it!  George T. Maier. 

One has to wonder whether or not Sue Ryan has any Maier sourced comeuppance in store?

We shall see!

KATHLEEN CLUNK

Kathleen Clunk (an Alliance precinct committee person at the time of the Alliance council presidency selection) was willing to go on the SCPR camera on April 30th and allege that Gonzalez as chairman discriminated against her in that only George T. Maier supporters on the SCDP-CC she says were notified to submit their petitions for the precinct committee person elections which took place this past Tuesday.



Gonzalez when queried sometime back about previous complaints like Clunk's, answered that the Party simply couldn't afford to mail out to everybody.

Reeks of disingenuousness, no?

Doesn't surprise the SCPR in the slightest.

To the SCPR it is a flip of the coin as to who is more dissembling as between Canton mayor William J. Healy, II and Chairman Gonzalez.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

A SCPR ANALYSIS OF THE OUTCOME OF KEY PRIMARY DAY ELECTIONS & OUTLOOK FOR THE GENERAL ELECTION




UPDATE:  9:18 a.m. (Additional commentary on the 5th District COA race)

Yesterday, as we have done biannually since we moved to Stark County 39 years ago, my wife and I got up early and at 6:30 a.m. had ourselves in line to vote in the 2014 primary election.

Until the three daughters were all grown up and out on their own (the last one having "flown the coup" by the 1997 elections), the event was a family one in that they tagged along and we went out to eat breakfast to celebrate the exercise of our democratic privilege.

What was a little bit strange about yesterday was that there were "no other voters" in sight!

Don't think we have ever experienced that before.

So it was no surprise to learn in looking at the election results to see this on the Stark BOE website:


Stark County as a part of the  greatest and longest standing "democracy" in the world turns out 13.85% of its registered voters.

Wow!

And over about 60 slots up for election, only 10 were contested.  Hmm?  17%.  Wow! again.

We Americans really cherish our opportunity to select our leadership, no?

Yesterday, the SCPR wrote that you can write off the Harold/Gruber race as one that will be competitive come November's general election, but - by The Report's calculation - there remain three "key" Stark "countywide" races to be decided this fall.

They are (in order of importance insofar as The Report's assessment):
  • Republican Larry Dordea versus Democrat George T. Maier for Stark County sheriff,
  • Democrat Chryssa Hartnett versus Curtis Werren for Stark County Court of Common Pleas, and
  • Republican Craig Baldwin versus Natalie Haupt District Court of Appeals (which, actually covers 15 Ohio counties of which, of course, Stark County is one),
DORDEA VERSUS GEORGE T. MAIER
STARK COUNTY SHERIFF

For anyone who reads Stark County media, the Dordea/Maier match up is likely to draw the most interest in the county.

Because the November, 2012 elected sheriff Mike McDonald could not take office as scheduled on January 7, 2013 due to an illness which cost him his life on February 22, 2013, we Stark Countians are tasked with selecting his successor in this coming November, 2014.


However, getting to the 2014 general election on this particular matter has been a tortured trek to say the least.

To sum it up (from the SCPR's perspective), the problem came in because one George T. Maier had not taken care to read the fine print (i.e. the precise details on how one becomes qualified to run for sheriff) in Ohio Revised Code Section 311.01 and then, when contested, decided to try "politically" bullying his way into being McDonald's successor.

Along the way, he actually got thrown out of office by the Ohio Supreme Court on November 6, 2013 (ironically enough, the day after the 2013 general election).

In that losing effort, Stark County taxpayers footed the bill at $20,000.

However, Maier, who is not much of a politician himself, through the effort of his brother Johnnie A. Maier, Jr. (who the SCPR thinks is Stark County's most powerful Democratic politician) managed to get George through a second Stark County Democratic Party Central Committee (SCDP-CC) selection process to be reappointed as the SCDP-CC choice to serve as sheriff until the voters weigh-in upon November 4th.

Notwithstanding brother Johnnie's supposed political prowess (he was Stark Dems' chairman 2003 - 2009 and remains as executive vice chairman of the Dems), George barely made it through the initial Mike McDonald succession process (February 5, 2013) with a 92 for Maier vote as opposed to - totally politically unsophisticated - Lou Darrow's 84 votes.

Although the SCPR does think that Johnnie is Stark's most powerful Democratic leader, that may not be saying all that much.

For in the wake of brother George's February win (followed by the second win [101 to 66] on December 11th), Stark County's "organized" Democrats are hugely divided on whether or not George T. Maier ought to be (in terms of ORC 311.01 qualifications) sheriff of Stark County.

For George to win in November, he will have to bring the likes of Stark County prosecutor John Ferrero into his political fold.

The SCPR thinks such is very unlikely given that Ferrero has feuded on and off over the years with what The Report calls the Maier Massillon-based Political Machine for years.

As a longtime former Massillon law director, Ferrero is a force in his own right in Massillon and also at the Stark County level by virtue of having been Johnnie's predecessor as Stark County Dems' chairman.

Just as a case in point as to the degree of political "bad blood" that continues to flow between the Maiers and Ferrero, let's look at the matter of Vivianne Whalen Duffrin.

Duffrin, a lawyer, was a long term human resources person for former Sheriff Tim Swanson (who had given Mike McDonald his blessing to succeed him as sheriff).

She even remained after Maier's appointment by the SCDP-CC on February 5th.

However, a matter that did not get a whole lot of publicity at the time was the fact that she weighed in on the George T. Maier qualification question on the wrong side insofar as her longevity at the sheriff's department.

She was of the opinion that George was not qualified under the provisions of ORC 311.01.

Anyone who knows Johnnie A. Maier, Jr knows that he does not forget things like Duffrin's act.

On October 11, 2013 Duffrin was unceremoniously fired by George from sheriff's position and get this:  "in the middle of negotiations with various 'union represented' grouped-employees within the department."

How that - "in the middle of negotiations - for George T. Maier looking out for the interests of Stark County taxpayers?

Does anybody doubt that her firing was political payback?

Guess who was back on the job November 7, 2013 after George was ousted by the Ohio Supreme Court on November 6th?

Guess who resigned late in the evening of December 11th after George was reappointed by the Stark Dems that same day?

And where did she end up with new employment?

You've got it!

The staff of Stark County prosecutor John D. Ferrero!!!

If that ain't an "in your face" George T. Maier, the SCPR does not know what it is?

The Report went through the foregoing Duffrin series of event to substantiate the SCPR's belief that a major rift still exists among Stark County "organized" Democrats on whether or not George T. Maier ought to be sheriff.

Accordingly, coming full circle, it is absolutely critical to the Maiers that the organized Democrats discontent not filter out into the Stark County Democratic Party electorate. 

For if it does, George T. Maier's last day as Stark County sheriff will be December 31, 2014!

CHRYSSA HARTNETT/CURTIS WERREN

STARK COUNTY CT OF COMMON PLEAS\
 
Until politics kicked in, Curtis Werren was president of the Stark County chapter of the American Red Cross.

But with the retirement of longtime judge (a Republican) V. Lee Sinclair ("the rocket-docket judge" - always a favorite of the SCPR), Werren, who the SCPR views as a pooh-bah type with intimate ties to the Stark County Republican Party establishment (see Alan Harold's campaign finance report from yesterday's blog to get a sampling of "the establishment)  was positioned to be in for a Republican governor John Kasich appointment.

The Report is told that when it was seemingly taking forever for John Kasich to make a decision on who was to replace Sinclair, that Mister Timken got on the telephone with the governor and said:  "Governor, when are going to get off your duff and appoint Curt Werren judge."

Well, on June 13, 2013 the governor did get off his duff and appoint Werren.

But in doing so he likely handed Stark County Democrats and more particularly Chryssa Hartnett a Stark County judgeship.

Hartnett, though a Democrat, applied for the job.

And as far as the SCPR is concerned it was "a no contest" in terms of her being vastly more qualified than the pooh-bah-esque Werren.

But what does a politico like Kasich care about "the merit qualifications" of his appointees?

And he is no different than the likes of Democrat Ted Strickland, when he was governor.

However, it is generally thought and known throughout the Stark County legal community that Hartnett as John Ferrero's "top-gun" criminal defendant prosecutor that she should have "on the merits" gotten the Kasich appointment.

That she didn't likely means, the SCPR thinks, that Werren can cite his 17 months or so on the Stark County Court of Common Pleas bench as a resume builder when he prevails upon one his high-brow Republican benefactors to provide him with employment after November 4, 2014.

Werren for sure (with the Timkens et al on his side) will outspend Hartnett who had to borrow $25,000 from her mother (who is a Cincinnati business woman) to get her campaign up and rolling.

The Report thinks that Stark County Democrats ("organized" and unorganized) will come together and the legal community will communicate Hartnett's more impressive credentials and experience to make her Sinclair's "elected by the people" replacement.

CRAIG BALDWIN VERSUS HAUPT
5TH DISTRICT COURT OF APPEALS

On the Democratic side of things, there was a name game of sorts going on.

The names Wise and Haupt were vying with one another in the Democratic primary as to who was going to be the standard bearer for the Dems in November to go up against Craig Baldwin, another Kasich appointee to an Ohio judgeship.

Other than their last names, the SCPR does not think either Wise nor Haupt were particularly distinguished candidates for the honor of running in November.

Among Stark's primary voting Democrats, the name Wise stood out in yesterday Stark County.



But not over the entire 5th District Court of Appeals county make up.  There it was "Haupt all the way!"



The 5th District Court of Appeals is composed of 15 counties.  Stark County is by far and away the largest of the 15.


Fellow Democrats Haupt and Wise likely decided "to duke it out" because they thought knocking off Republican Baldwin (of Licking County [population 166,492]) though a "retention incumbent" because he has never stood for election in the 5th and his base of Licking County is less than half the size of Stark (375,586), population wise, would be an easy mark.

To the SCPR, such thinking is highly self-serving and so the two waste effort and financial resources running Democrat on Democrat  for what they fallaciously (in The Report's analysis) deem to be an easy "meal ticket" onto the bench.

They and Dems' chairman Randy Gonzalez should have gotten together and figured out which one was the best bet to run against Baldwin and which was better suited to run against Republican Kristin Farmer (also a Kasich appointee replacing the retired Charles Brown) in her first try to be elected in her own right.

In doing so, the three of them would have been looking out for Stark County voters having a choice alternative to Farmer come November.

That the Dems (blame mostly Gonzalez, the SCPR thinks) didn't look out providing voters such a choice; for  that reason alone, the SCPR says,  voters should be reluctant to consider voting for Haupt in November.

As has been pointed out to The Report, since Haupt (magistrate for Judge John Haas, a Democrat) works in the Stark County Common Pleas Court, it would have been awkward to say the least for her to run against Judge Farmer.

So obviously, the thing to have happened was for Wise to run against her and for Haupt to have set up against Baldwin.

Craig Baldwin has impressed Stark County Bar members with his handling of himself while sitting as a Republican governor appointed judge.

With the disparity of 56,773 plus Republican votes in yesterday's primary added to the generally accepted political axiom that Republicans general outvote (in terms of absolute numbers) Democrats in off year elections, look for Craig Baldwin to win easily over Haupt come November.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

IS MASSILLON ABOUT TO PAY TWICE FOR AN "EXTRA" SERGEANT'S POSITION IN THE MASSILLON POLICE DEPARTMENT?



MASSILLON LOSES COURT CASE
ON
PROMOTION TO SERGEANT CONTROVERSY

=====================================

CATAZARO-PERRY & HER ADVISERS
HAVE MADE A REAL MESS OF
MASSILLON FINANCES?

=============================

STATE OF OHIO AUDITOR
SAYS
MASSILLON CAN SAVE
$628,600 ANNUALLY!

UPDATE:  5:45 PM

Here is a follow up e-mail from Massillon Councilman Milan Chovan on the situation of Michael Maier.

From:  Milan Chovan   (Wednesday, April 2, 2014 at 5:25 PM)

To:  Martin Olson

Hi, Martin. 

I read the update to your blog that was made after my voicemail this morning.  I'd like to explain further to clear up a few things that I might not have made clear in the voicemail.

First of all, the city ordinance regarding staffing levels sets the number of sergeants at 6, not 7.  Rogers would have been number 7 without the retirement of an existing sergeant.  In that case, it would appear that Maier would have had to have been demoted, according to the city's Codified Ordinances. 

Earlier today, I found out that there might be another issue regarding Maier. As I understand it, if two officers pass the sergeant's test as did Maier and Rogers, the results are good for one year.  So, if the more senior sergeant candidate that passed the test is promoted, then another sergeant opening occurs within one year from the test date,  the junior officer could be promoted without retaking the test. I was informed today that, if Rogers would have been promoted when Maier was, well over a year ago, Maier's previous test results would now be expired.  The contention is that Maier should not have been made a sergeant  when he was and, therefore, does not have a valid test result to allow him to be a sergeant now, even though there would only be 6 sergeants on the department.  


In effect, right now, there should only be 5 sergeants with Rogers as one of them and an opening for a 6th sergeant that should be filled after a new test is administered to any officer qualified to take it.  If another officer with more seniority than Maier passes the test, he would be promoted before Maier.  At least that's what I was told. Confusing isn't it?

Thanks for the follow up Milan. 

It is confusing and that's why I wanted SCPR readers to hear from you in your capacity as chairman of Massillon City Council's Police and Fire Committee.

UPDATE:  9:15 AM

Republican Councilman-at-Large Milan Chovan (chairman of Massillon City Council's Police & Fire Committee) this morning in response to a SCPR inquiry as to whether or not Massillon's Fifth District Court of Appeals loss on the Rogers case is likely to result in Michael Maier being demoted said that he does not think so.

He explained that Massillon very recently had its full ordinance authorized seven sergeants on staff and that until the very recent retirement of one of the sergeants, a promotion of Thomas Rogers to sergeant would have put Massillon over the seven sergeant authorization.  Accordingly, it appears that Maier will be remaining a sergeant.

Chovan did say that the matter of retroactive pay to Rogers at the grade of sergeant is something else and he believes that it is an issue that Massillon government will have to deal with.

ORIGINAL BLOG

The Stark County Political Report thinks that if you had asked Johnnie A. Maier, Jr (executive vice chair of the Stark County Democratic Party) in January, 2013 if the family fortunes were flying high in terms of being dominant factors in Stark County police work (also Ohio:  2007 - 2011, George T. Maier, assistant director/director [for a few days] of the Department of Public Safety),  he most likely would have had ONE BIG SMILE on his face.

The Report's take on this former chairman of the Stark Dems is that he is a firm believer that "might makes right" and he has what it takes to play the political bully to take himself and his political allies to the apex of Stark County politics and government.

Maier, Jr learned power politics from one of Ohio's all time masters.


But these days, Johnnie might have a more sober look on his face.

Yesterday, the Fifth District Court of Appeals (5DCOA) came down with a decision which might result in his nephew Massillon policeman Michael Maier (George's son) losing his rank of sergeant in the Massillon Police Department (MPD).

Here's how Rogers attorney (Conley) put the significance of the 5DCOA ruling:

Yesterday, the Fifth District Court of Appeals issued its Opinion in the above-referenced cause affirming the Trial Court's (Judge Haas) reversal of the City of Massillon Civil Service Commission's decision denying Massillon Police Officer Rogers' promotion to Sergeant.

Accordingly, barring an unlikely successful appeal to' the Ohio Supreme Court, the City of Massillon is now obliged to retroactively promote Officer Rogers to Sergeant and to pay him back wages and fringe benefits therefor.


Ironically enough, the Massillon Police Officer unlawfully appointed sergeant in Officer Rogers' stead was George T. Maier's son, Michael Maier, noting that the younger Maier's promotion was effectuated while his father was the Massillon Safety Service Director.


To get a full appreciation of the full background on this story, readers of this SCPR blog should click on this LINK to access a blog published by The Report on April 29, 2013 providing quite a bit of background own how Micheal came to be promoted sergeant at the MPD by Mayor Kathy Catazaro-Perry over one Thomas Rogers even though the Stark Court of Common Pleas (Judge John Haas) and now the 5DCOA has found "as a matter of law" that Rogers has more seniority than Maier.

Originally the Massillon Civil Service Commission disregarded Rogers seniority factor (3 to 0) in coming to a decision as to recommend to Mayor Catazaro-Perry whom to promote.

And the SCPR believes that the commission was not politically motivated but was merely misinformed as to what the operative law was at the time of its determination.

How did that happen?

Well, that is a good question which the SCPR does not have an answer for.

Perhaps it is that there is something in the water in certain parts of Massillon?

But the disconnect between the law as it is - and how the Maiers and others think it is - seems to be common phenomenon at play when it comes to Michael and father George qualifying for public policing positions.

The erroneous Massillon Civil Service Commissioner interpretation of the law (at least at the Stark Common Pleas and 5DCOA levels) was rendered on November 27, 2012.


A couple months or so later, Michael's father George, after guaranteeing Stark Countians that if he applied to succeed November, 2012 Sheriff-elect Mike McDonald (who, due to illness, could not take office on January 7, 2013) he would be qualified, was proved to be wrong (after being appointed sheriff on February 5, 2013 by the Stark County Democratic Party Central Committee) when on November 6, 2013 the Ohio Supreme Court (Swanson v. Maier, quo warranto) said he failed to meet the criteria of Ohio Revised Code Section 311.01(B)(8)(a) or (b).

Now George is under challenge once again in the Ohio Supreme Court as to whether or not he is qualified to be the Stark County Democratic Party's candidate for sheriff in the upcoming May 6, 2014 primary election.  (Balas-Bratton v. Maier, Writ of Prohibition, filed March 11, 2014)

The main point of this blog is to examine the financial implications to Massillon City finances in what appears to the SCPR to have been too hasty of a decision on the part of Mayor Catazaro-Perry to exercising her executive power to do so in promoting Michael to sergeant given the legal challenge that was surely to follow.

Presumably readers know about the dire financial condition that the city of Massillon is in these days.

Even before she took office as mayor (elected in November, 2011), Catazaro-Perry was trying to get the State of Ohio Auditor's (SOA) office to making an official finding that Massillon was in some sort of financial condition.

But the SOA rejected her overture.

If Catazaro-Perry has anything going for her, it is her doggedness.  And that could come from her political protege and sponsor Johnnie A. Maier, Jr.

Finally, she did persuade the SOA in 2013 to declare Massillon to be in fiscal emergency.  On May 13, 2013 she wrote SOA David Yost and on October 8th, he accommodated her.


Ironically, yesterday the SOA came out with the requested audit and here is its recommendation "savings" list:


Hmm?

$628,600 in "Annual Cost Savings/Revenue Enhancements."

Interestingly enough, the mayor is reported be saying that Massillon may not implement all the SOA's recommendations.

Hmm?

Who asked for the audit?

Of course, even if Massillon were to implement all the SOA recommendations, the savings will have to be reduced by the amount of money the Catazaro-Perry administration will likely have to pay Thomas Rogers.

And it has been one big merry-go-round and she (as the SCPR sees it) has chosen to lock horns with Massillon City Council over coming up with a plan to present to the Massillon Financial Planning Commission (set up as part of the SOA declaring Massillon to be in fiscal emergency) for its approval.

The Report hears that the mayor convinced her fellows on the commission to disapprove council's plan submitted to the commission recently.

Which in light of the recommendations of the SOA yesterday and the "miraculous" reduction in the deficit from $2.6 million to $1.1 million reported recently makes one wonder whether or not a declaration fiscal emergency was merited in the first place.

Nevertheless Catazaro-Perry and council are at loggerheads and who knows if, when and how the stand off will end.

The Report is told by a knowledgeable source that the State of Ohio member of the commission (having met with council at a work session on Monday night) may be changing her view of council's plan.

With all the financial hubbub going on, it cannot be good news that it is looking pretty certain (the 5DCOA decision is susceptible of being appealed to the Ohio Supreme Court) that Massillon will now have to promote Thomas Rogers to sergeant with retroactive pay and benefits.

In light of Massillon's financial problems, it will be interesting to see how much Massillon will be set back because of Catazaro-Perry's premature action on the sergeant promotion.

And, the SCPR is told, that it may be that Massillon's code of ordinances does not allow both Rogers and Maier to be sergeants.  (See UPDATE above).

If such proves to be the case, it appears that Mayor Kathy Catazaro-Perry (one would think under the advice of Maier, Jr [who is Massillon's clerk of courts] and his appendage and deputy clerk R. Shane Jackson) has made a real mess of things in Massillon.

While Johnnie, Jr and his political friends and allies may think that they can muscle their way through every situation; maybe, just maybe, political power has it limits.

If things have gotten worse for Johnnie, Jr and his political pals with the adverse 5DCOA decision - so what - might be the response. They only getting what they deserve.

And that may be.

But what should not be acceptable to the voters in Massillon and across Stark County (i.e. the sheriff thing) is for political power mongers to drag all of us into the consequences of losing the political power game.

There is yet a chance that the exercise of executive and political power may in the end prevail.

If they do or do not succeed, the play of ill-advised executive action and power politics will have markedly damaged Massillon (re:  its safety forces) and Stark County (the sheriff's situation) in terms of the public perception of the priorities of interests.

Which is prevailing, the public must be saying:  the public interest or somebody's personal interest?